Fraud committed using personal details obtained by scammers by voice email, voice over IP, landline and mobile calls is costing UK citizens at least £7m a year.
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Around a quarter of UK adults were victims of vishing in the past financial year with 43% of victims over the age of 50, according to a report by Financial Fraud Action UK (FFA UK).
Four in ten people admitted they found it challenging to tell the difference between a genuine and fraudulent call, according to an FFA UK survey of 2,000 UK adults.
Almost a third of the UK population received at least 10 cold calls a, with 41% suspecting that a call was fraudulent or suspicious.
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Vishing typically involves a fraudster calling a victim and posing as someone from a bank fraud team, the police, or another legitimate organisation such as an internet service provider.
They attempt to obtain financial information which often includes credit/debit card details, bank account details and personal information such as full name, date of birth or address.
This information is then used by the fraudster to gain access to their victim’s finances. Fraudsters can also deceive victims into transferring money to them.
Fraudsters can use personal information gleaned from Vishing in a number of ways including to access a victim’s bank account, make fraudulent purchases and commit identity theft.
FFA UK said everyone should wary of any unsolicited phone calls and should never disclose bank personal identification numbers or online banking passwords to anyone. It said any suspicious calls should be terminated and warned that criminals typically have some basic information about their intended victims to trick them to disclose more.